The primary objective of the European Central Bank (ECB) is to maintain price stability so that our money retains its value over time, i.e. it ensures that consumer prices do not rise or fall sharply over a period of time. To achieve this objective, the ECB bases its decisions on its monetary policy strategy.
Without prejudice to this objective, the ECB shall support the general economic policies in the European Union (EU) with a view to contributing to the achievement of the objectives of the Union as laid down in Article 3 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU). These objectives include balanced economic growth, a highly competitive social market economy aiming at full employment and social progress, and a high level of protection and improvement of the quality of the environment.
In line with these functions, the ECB ensures the smooth operation of payment systems in the euro area, enabling us to make secure payments for our purchases. The ECB also holds and manages Member States’ official foreign reserves and other financial assets and, through the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM), it carries out European banking supervision, ensuring that the credit institutions where we deposit our money are safe and solvent. Lastly, the ECB compiles and publishes economic and monetary data, statistics and reports on the euro area.